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What I find additionally interesting about this termination of  student Kristofer Petersen-Overton is no one seems to be addressing the potential biased and/or racist beliefs and actions being implemented by Assemblyman Hikind and BC President Karen Gould.   Why aren't Mr. Order medrol Hikind and Ms. Order medrol Gould being questioned about their own religious prejudices and apparent intolerance to other beliefs other than their own? Israel partisan gets Brooklyn College to fire Patersen-Overton; "now they're going after graduate students" - asks for support http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2010/08/31/alg_brooklyn_college1.jpg CounterPunch, order medrol Joshua Sperber - Brooklyn College fired PhD student Kristofer Petersen-Overton yesterday, order medrol one day after New York tate assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) sent a letter to BC president Karen Gould accusing Petersen-Overton of being an "overt supporter of terrorism." Hikind has complained in interviews that Petersen-Overton's academic work is anti-Israel, order medrol and that his attempt to "understand" suicide bombing is unfathomable. Order medrol Petersen-Overton and I are colleagues at the CUNY Graduate Center JS: You were preparing to instruct a course on the Middle East and were fired. Order medrol What happened? KPO: I was hired by Mark Ungar at Brooklyn College's political science department on the recommendation of Dov Waxman at the Graduate Center. Order medrol I went in for an interview, order medrol and he was impressed with my credentials. Order medrol I have an MA and I've published on the situation [in the Middle East], order medrol and he said "I would be honored to have you." And this was for a grad level seminar, order medrol which is not lecture-based, order medrol meaning that our classes would be discussion-oriented and not some sort of alleged platform. JS: What was the official explanation for your firing, order medrol and why doesn't it make sense? KPO: I have not once been contacted by the department itself, order medrol but I was told that the official reason I have been fired is that I don't have a PhD, order medrol which is untrue, order medrol because no student teaching this course has a PhD, order medrol and there are of course many student teachers at BC who do not have their PhD's. Order medrol And I'll point out that I am somewhat more qualified than many student teachers because I came into the program with a Master's degree, order medrol which many students who are teaching for CUNY don't have. I was fired immediately after Dov Hikind contacted the school. Order medrol He is an especially radical assemblyman who goes after people who he perceives as being anti-Israel. Order medrol He's actually made a career out of targeting people for alleged anti-Israel bias. JS: And the charge of bias is doubly problematic. Order medrol Because, order medrol one, order medrol it's inaccurate. Order medrol But, order medrol two, order medrol even if it were accurate, order medrol what does it imply? KPO: We all come to the table with our personal political views; there's not a single professor who doesn't have their own views. Order medrol So it all comes down to how one approaches those views, order medrol and I devoted an entire class in the syllabus to the subject of objectivity and humanism, order medrol meaning I wanted to put this issue of bias on the table to facilitate open and productive discussions. JS: What does your firing suggest about contemporary politics and higher education? KPO: They've targeted professors up for tenure for so long and have been relatively unsuccessful except for several cases, order medrol like with Norman Finkelstein (JS: and, order medrol among others, order medrol Nicholas De Genova and Thaddeus Russell, order medrol at Columbia University and Barnard College, order medrol respectively), order medrol now I think they're going after graduate students before their careers even begin. Order medrol One of the most direct implications of this which is deeply troubling is not the fact that people take issue with one particular class, order medrol which is inevitable, order medrol but the way in which the college administration caved so quickly – for it to occur within 24 hours is incredible to me, order medrol and the school never even consulted me. Order medrol For this to be decided by a state official poking his nose in a college syllabus is Orwellian. Order medrol I've received tremendous support, order medrol which I'm very grateful for. Order medrol Norman Finkelstein wrote me, order medrol and after I contacted Neve Gordon he (Gordon) contacted BC's provost, order medrol writing that he reviewed my syllabus and that it was excellent and reflected a number of different perspectives, order medrol noting that the textbook was mainstream and "emphasizes the Zionist narrative." He also read a scholarly paper I had written, order medrol and wrote that he was "struck by (my) academic rigor." JS: What can people do to lend support? I would be greatly appreciative if people can send an email to the provost, order medrol even better a letter, order medrol and tomorrow it would be great if people could call, order medrol and more importantly if people could disseminate this story. Order medrol It's especially disgusting that they would go after a grad student, order medrol because they have not only impacted my career but also my income and health insurance. Office of the Provost (William A. Order medrol Tramontano) Brooklyn College 2900 Bedford Avenue Brooklyn, order medrol New York 11210 718.951.5000 tramontano@brooklyn.cuny.edu